The Snowy Mountains Scenic Drive, NSW
The greatest scenic drives are meant to take you along routes of pure pleasure and discovery. The Snowy Mountain Drive in New South Wales, Australia, is up there with the best of them, allowing you to enjoy the sheer beauty of the region at your own pace. If you have a motorhome or campervan rental, this is an ideal scenic drive for the whole family, with plenty to see and do along the way, and complete freedom from limiting schedules.
The Snowies, (as they are locally called) lie about half-way between Melbourne and Sydney and driving around this area is a great way of enjoying the natural beauty of the area and experiencing the highest mountain in Australia. Try this suggested 7 day itinerary which includes all the highlights of the Snowy Mountains Drive; there are good camp grounds and caravan parks all along the route.
Day 1 – Cooma
Learn about the Snowy Hydro Electric scheme at the visitors centre before taking Tourist Drive 1, south of Cooma, which will take you to the top of Mount Gladstone (just 3kms) where you can sip some gluhwein while admiring the 360 degree views over the mountains. Then drive out to Berridale and historic Dalgety for a historic walk and some great food. (Cooma Snowy Mountains Tourist Park)
Day 2 – Jindabyne
Enjoy some of the delights of Lake Jindabyne (boating, trout fishing, sailing) before driving on to Kosciuszko National Park. Here there are numerous walks and hikes, and a Visitors’ Centre. Drive on to Charlotte Pass, Australia’s highest ski village, to enjoy the invigorating alpine zone. On the horizon see Mount Kosciuszko; if you have time to fit in another day, you could trek up to the top of the mountain from here (full day hike). Discovery Holiday Park is a good place to stop overnight.
Day 3 – Alpine Way
Explore the Thredbo valley and take a ride on the Skitube, an underground railway. From Thredbo you can take a thrilling ride to the top of the mountain on the express chair lift, or get there the hard way, on foot. There are many great walks and hikes and all kinds of activities for the whole family.
Day 4 – Alpine Way
Continue your Snowy mountain drive Khancoban – look out for kangaroo, wombats and emus along the way and stop at the Visitors’ Centre at the Murray 1 Power Station for an excellent display on the history of the Snowy Scheme.
Days 5 to 7 – Tourist Drive 5
Tumbarumba is the next stop to taste some of the new cold-climate wines of the region or visit a berry farm; then on to Batlow, a really beautiful town that makes a great overnight stop. There is still more to see in Tumut, including a paper mill and gold mine ruins. There is plenty more to see and do all along the drive and the longer you can spend here, the more time you will have to explore all the little nooks and crannies of the great Snowy Mountain Drive.